Informal Advice and Guidance

Providing guidance to persons seeking to comply with the City’s campaign, lobbying and governmental ethics rules is a core function of the Ethics Commission. In addition to the information on the guidance pages of this website, the Commission provides such guidance by email or phone.

Seeking informal advice from Ethics staff offers you an opportunity to have questions answered by experienced staff by email. Complex questions that require research may take longer to receive a response.

Third party questions, hypothetical questions, and enforcement related matters will not be answered through the advice service.


Opinions are given through a formal vote of the Ethics Commission at a public meeting. After the requester asks for an opinion of the Commission, Staff will draft a proposed opinion and agendize it for a hearing at a subsequent Commission meeting. Once adopted by the Commission, an opinion provides the requester with immunity from subsequent enforcement if the material facts are as stated in the opinion request, the City Attorney and District Attorney concur in the opinion, and the requester acts in accordance with the opinion.

See Opinions and Advice Regulations